While many of you out there are still celebrating the recent Maddenoliday (myself included), new information is coming out on EA Sports' latest in their NHL series, which is arguably the best sports video game on the market. Unfortunately, most of my friends and co-writers completely ignore the remarkable beauty and skill of hockey, and therefore will miss out on this year's iteration of the 2007 Sports Game of the Year.
IGN just got their hands on the player ratings for this year. Here's the full list of teams, as well as a glossary so you know what the hell the ratings mean. This link will take you to the ratings for the Red Wings players. Although EA is still tweaking their system, and therefore doesn't provide overall rankings, we can take a look at the specific ratings that make up each player. Some jump out:
- Nick Lidstrom, deservedly, is an absolute animal. He's got a 96 rating for offensive awareness, passing, puck control, and defensive awareness. Norris, indeed.
- Pavel Datsyuk has a 98 deke rating and 95 puck control. Enjoy making the defense look silly.
- Datsyuk is better across the board (albeit barely) in almost every category than Henrik Zetterberg. While I don't necessarily disagree, I'm somewhat surprised.
- Tomas Holmstrom has a 97 deflection rating. That sounds about right, and I'm sure Western Conference goalies would agree (begrudgingly, if I had to guess). He also has 96 balance, which is useful for not toppling over when defensemen and goalies tomahawk chop you in the calves all game.
- Darren McCarty has a miserable 53 offensive awareness rating, a full 17 points below anyone else on the roster. What the hell?
- Chris Osgood has around 80-84 abilities almost completely across the board. His best rating? Poise, at 90. Those of you who remember him giving up three center-ice goals in the 1998 playoffs would never have seen that coming ten years ago.
The game drops September 9th, and no, EA did not pay me to write this.